Building an Inclusive Workplace Experience at Huckletree

Building an Inclusive Workplace Experience at Huckletree

To continue our series where we place the spotlight on Nexudus customers, this week we make our way over to Huckletree, a longstanding customer of Nexudus! Huckletree has a growing network of shared workspaces across the UK and Ireland. It represents a community of over 4,000 people working across dynamic tech and creative sectors including web3, fintech, AI, govtech, and sustainable innovation. We had the pleasure of learning more about its focus on inclusivity from speaking to Aislinn Mahon, Head of Brand at Huckletree.

Promoting an inclusive culture

Distinguished by its commitment to inclusion and a focus on balance, Huckletree has challenged the typical ‘hustle and grind’ culture. Since launching in 2014 by CEO and co-founder, Gabriela Hersham, Huckletree has stood for “creating a sense of belonging…where everyone feels comfortable and safe in the workspace,” explains Aislinn.

This commitment is reflected by many initiatives that provide the foundations of an inclusive workplace experience. For example, Huckletree partners with Certified Proud to ensure that all of its workspaces are safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community. ‘A diverse, representative community is the only community we want to be a part of.’ Another great example of their focus on DEI is Alpha, Huckletree's award-winning 12-week in-house accelerator. Alpha was launched in 2017 following acknowledgement of the lack of diversity and equality within the startup ecosystem. Now in its 10th iteration, the Alpha programme has supported over 80 founders in raising more than £35m in funding. Participants also receive a complimentary workspace at Huckletree as part of the programme.

Releasing its first Impact Report this year as a BCorp-certified company, Huckletree pledges to ‘prioritise transparency across our operations and to be accountable to community people and planet (not only shareholders). We wholeheartedly believe in the notion that businesses today must use their platform and brand to be a catalyst for good.’ BCorp certifies organisations that “meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.”

Designing a work environment for everyone

Huckletree’s workspace design philosophy facilitates collaboration, networking, and community building. “Each hub has breakout and communal space designed to bring people together,” says Aislinn. From accommodating workspaces with the standard amenities of a shared workspace complete with hot desks, resident desks, studios, private offices, meeting rooms, enterprise suites, kitchens, and bathrooms, the hubs also facilitate quiet and focus spaces, tailoring for different work styles. Thanks to the Nexudus floorplan feature, the community at Huckletree can easily navigate its workspaces.

By listening to the needs of its community, Huckletree ensures that it continues to offer amenities, events and programming that are designed for its members. Within co-working spaces, so many different companies, teams and individuals come together and in striving to meet these members’ needs, feedback is invaluable. “At Huckletree, feedback is formally gathered twice a year through our Member Feedback Survey, and we use this data to prioritise what we work on as a business. Analysing this data and ensuring it is regularly updated ensures we are offering our community the amenities they need. It also helps us pick the right topics and focus areas for the events and programming we offer. This feedback loop is incredibly important to us as a business.”

Since first opening its doors in Clerkenwell in 2014, Huckletree has grown steadily. It now operates eleven themed workspaces across London, Manchester and Dublin. The most recent hub to open was their Web3 dedicated workspace at Oxford Circus in March 2023. Hubs in Kensington and Liverpool Street will open in early 2024. Members can access multiple Huckletree workspaces with the Nexudus network system. Venturing into the academic world this year, Huckletree launched its first Innovation Lab in September at Regents’ University, London, to support aspiring entrepreneurs from an early stage.

Huckletree has also seen its “the average length of our member agreements increase year or year. We’re seeing less short to mid-term agreements,” says Aislinn. “Retention is really important to us.” One member scaling with Huckletree has worked out of its hubs for over 5 years.

Creating not only a workspace but a destination

Existing with a purpose that goes beyond providing a place for people to work, Huckletree is about “seeing the workplace as a destination that people are really happy to come to,” expresses Aislinn. “We believe that future-thinking, progressive workplaces prioritise the wellbeing and belonging of their people. From our weekly breakfasts and regular social gatherings to our wellness offerings, we are proud to reimagine a world of work that seeks to enrich our members' work experience, daily rituals and overall happiness.” Wellness perks range from hosting yoga and meditation sessions to offering express massages in hubs during the working day to give the community a brief relief and pause from a busy schedule. Dogs are welcome in workspaces, benefitting wellbeing too. An article published by Paws In Work reveals that “spending time with pets can reduce levels of cortisol (the hormone that’s produced when we feel stressed) in the human body.”

Twice a week, the Huckletree community meets to interact with one another, with its most popular social event being breakfast on Tuesdays, whilst its lively socials happen on Thursday evenings. Organising social events on these days aligns with the post-pandemic trend of most people coming into workspaces during the mid-week. One of the upcoming breakfasts this month (October) celebrates Black History Month. Attendees can easily check in using the NexEvents app, which gives the community team oversight of event uptake and popularity.

But the initiatives don’t stop there. Huckletree has a ‘long-term ongoing commitment to do better by our individuals, our neighbourhoods, communities, and the planet.’ Over the next year, Huckletree has set some admirable targets in a bid to continuously improve its social and community impact, including ‘improving team welfare, implementing an enhanced waste management system, and ongoing social and local community support’ amongst others.

“It’s important that our values align and show up in our hubs,” says Aislinn, after sharing many inspirational details about Huckletree’s inclusive workplace experience. It’s clear that the brand is truly committed to its people and community across everything it does.

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